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Preformed and regenerated phosphate in ocean general circulation models: can right total concentrations be wrong?

Author(s): Duteil, Olaf; Koeve, Wolfgang; Oschlies, Andreas; Aumont, Olivier; Bianchi, Daniele; et al

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Abstract: Phosphate distributions simulated by seven state-of-the-art biogeochemical ocean circulation models are evaluated against observations of global ocean nutrient distributions. The biogeochemical models exhibit different structural complexities, ranging from simple nutrient-restoring to multi-nutrient NPZD type models. We evaluate the simulations using the observed volume distribution of phosphate. The errors in these simulated volume class distributions are significantly larger when preformed phosphate (or regenerated phosphate) rather than total phosphate is considered. Our analysis reveals that models can achieve similarly good fits to observed total phosphate distributions for a~very different partitioning into preformed and regenerated nutrient components. This has implications for the strength and potential climate sensitivity of the simulated biological carbon pump. We suggest complementing the use of total nutrient distributions for assessing model skill by an evaluation of the respective preformed and regenerated nutrient components.
Publication Date: 23-May-2012
Citation: Duteil, Olaf, Wolfgang Koeve, Andreas Oschlies, Olivier Aumont, Daniele Bianchi, Laurent Bopp, Eric Galbraith et al. "Preformed and regenerated phosphate in ocean general circulation models: can right total concentrations be wrong?" Biogeosciences 9, no. 5 (2012): 1797-1807. doi:10.5194/bg-9-1797-2012.
DOI: doi:10.5194/bg-9-1797-2012
ISSN: 1726-4170
EISSN: 1726-4189
Pages: 1797 - 1807
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Biogeosciences
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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